Holding On.

I have a child that has been driving for almost 2 years, a boy.  I also have another child with a permit, and will get a driver’s license in July, a girl.  She always wants to drive, and I get it … I was 16 once upon a time, too. She’s a very good driver … Actually, she’s such a good driver, that she “kindly” tells me how to drive, at times … yeah, it’s impressive! <insert heavy eye roll>.  

That being said, why do I have such a hard time handing her the keys, and just letting her drive?!  Things would be a lot less “yelly”, if I just gave her the keys, every single time we have a place to go, but I don’t … and if I’m being honest,  I won’t.  Because after a lot of soul-searching, I have come to the conclusion, that since I cannot control the hands of time, I can control whose hands the keys land in.  She has the rest of her life to drive, I only have three months left to be her chauffeur, before getting a car of her own, and ONLY a little over a year, before she graduates high school, and starts her own life.  I know it sounds dumb … I know she should be practicing … and she does, just not as much as she wants. Once she has a car of her own, and the “freedom” to come and go, I’m pretty sure she’ll go, more than she comes, and I’m okay with that, at that point in time. I am the person who likes to celebrate growth and milestones, and very much looks forward to a reason to celebrate my children. I try to not be overly sentimental, however, it’s a different set of emotions, that is so unexplainable to parents who haven’t been here yet.  Knowing that the time is coming for my older two children to spread their wings and fly, is a lot to handle.  As much as parents “look forward” to empty-nesting, it’s a wee bit scary for this mama. I feel secure in how we’ve raised our children, to be great products of society, but have I really done enough?!  Will my “life lessons” resonate with them … Will they remember my words when it’s time to make an important decision?!  

Oh my goodness … Have I done enough?!  

It’s a scary reality knowing that your kids will be on their own, making grown up decisions, making mistakes, hopefully learning from those mistakes, and growing from them.  My daughter has this false sense of reality, that as long as you’re doing the right thing, everything is peachy keen. In a sense, yes it could be, but you never know what bumps in the road could arise, what crazy forks in the road you will come in contact with, and have to make a decision … LEFT or RIGHT?!   Have I done enough, have I said enough, have I taught them enough?!

At the end of the day, and in my defense (wink wink) … I know she’ll be okay … I have been in the car with her enough, to know that she will be just fine.  She thinks she neeeeeds to practice, I know that even with all the practice in the world, it doesn’t stop all the assholes that ARE on the road, and as long as she’s paying attention and doing the right thing, she will be fine.

For now, I’m holding on to the little girl who never wanted to leave my side … the little girl who couldn’t let me leave the house without her being in tow … the little girl that I have a bond with that no one can touch … the little girl who used to sleep in my bed … the little girl who looked at her mama with those green eyes …


…  the little girl that I am just having a hard time, letting go!!

        The end.

 

 

Unconventional ~ Part 3.

It’s the little things, that make a huge difference …

Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose, right?! Right.  My “conventional marriage”, was finalized in divorce, at some point in Early 2004.  We brought another child into our marriage in July of 2001 … my only full-term baby (that’s right, in 2010, I had another premature child, 6 1/2 weeks early), and even she wanted to be born six weeks early, but doctors were able to stop my contractions .. with a little bed rest, I was able to hold her in until 39 weeks … July 2, 2001, it’s a girl … 6 pounds, 6 ounces, at 6 am … Hmmm … you said a girl, right?! Not the devil?! (Again, I joke … sorta)

My ex-husband started cheating on me in November of 2000 … That’s right … You do the math!  Yet, I still fought for what I thought was mine … I lost, but eventually, when I realized he got another person pregnant, I won.  I won my freedom from him, back … I no longer had feels for him the way a wife should have for her husband … Soooo …

byefelicia
Photo creds: memecrunch.com

In January, 2003, I moved my children and I to Hickory, NC.  I was no longer a wife.  I had a new title:  Single mom … with nowhere to go.  My mom, and my brother lived there, so it made sense.  We spent about 6 years there.  I have nothing, but wonderful memories, and few close friends that will be cherished forever.  I do believe it was when my older two kids were happiest in life, if I’m being 1,000% honest with myself.  It’s also where, for four years, twice a year, my son was injected with botox injections, in both legs, and then casted (to stretch the tendons in his calves and ankles) for 6 weeks, each time.  Even though his cerebral palsy only affects the right side of his body, the doctors felt that doing it to both legs, at his age, would give him an “even” feeling.  Along with the botox, came extensive, intensive, physical and occupational therapies, 2 – 3 times per week, during these four years, and beyond. I could sit here and list the numerous procedures and therapies my son has had to endure, but I can’t remember them all.  There have literally been hundreds, and if anything, I’m under-estimating!

Single mom, 2 kids … my world … not such a bad title to hold.

I seem to have forgotten to mention what exactly caused my son to develop cerebral palsy (CP) … At birth, he suffered a Grade III, out of IV, bleed, on the left side of his brain, affecting the right side of his body.  In other words, he had a stroke. Given too much oxygen at birth?  Maybe.  However, for all the things that SHOULD be wrong with him, he is truly blessed, and a FUCKING MIRACLE!!  Through the years, I have seen many kids born at 26, 27, 32 weeks.  I have also seen many born at full term, with cerebral palsy, requiring a wheelchair, having no speech or any motor skills … I KNOW HOW LUCKY WE ARE!!! It’s trying to teach a kid with a severe disability, just HOW LUCKY HE IS!!  Even though I have ingrained, in my son’s brain, that CAN’T isn’t in his vocabulary, I still struggle with showing him that he fucking CAN!!

He can do anything he wants in life … He may have to work a little harder, but he FUCKING CAN! (He’s almost 19, so I don’t feel bad swearing at this point).

In 2008, I decided that my ex-husband needed to be in our kids lives more.  So what does every sane, normal person do?! Oh … I upped, and moved back home to New Jersey, in August.  This whole section of life, is a whole other blog! wink wink!

August 2009 … Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia (aka CHOP) … 

My son had some testing done at CHOP, to decipher exactly what could be done, surgically, to help aid him in his growing years.  You see, it was these tests that clued us in that his right hip was growing in, instead of straight, causing his right leg to be extra tight, shorter than his left leg, and caused him to tippy toe his right foot for many years, walking with an EXTREME limp.  What brought me to this point, as his mother?

                                               Mean people! Cruel fucking humans.

Earlier that year, in the Spring, my son wanted to play baseball … a great little athlete, he was (is) … even with his “gimpy limp”.  He had (has) an arm on him, like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s a damn shame that some people have to be complete, fucking assholes their whole life, and a mother, at that.  Being that we were new in town … No one knew that I was his mom.  I was so proud of my kid for joining a team, where he hardly knew anyone.  The kids were pretty accepting of him … 3rd graders are still sweet!  The first time my son was up to bat, he hit the ball … AWESOME! … and as he ran to first base … Cheering him on, I overheard another mom question who my son was … (in my best snotty voice) “Whoooo is that kid?! Isn’t he considered a liability?!”.

kevinhart

NOW, in my best Mama Bear voice, “I’m sorry … WHAT?! BITCH! … THAT is MY kid … He is NOT a liability … he is a fucking miracle, with a heart of gold, and a smile that would melt your cold ass heart!  He has cerebral palsy, and has EVERY right to be here, just as much as your perfect little liability, er … son does!”.  ((GTFOH!!))

Can you believe the audacity of some people?!

September 21, 2009 … Morristown Memorial Hospital … Surgery Day!

 

Seany10
Seany, pre-op!

Look at that sweet, sweet face!  How could you not fall in love with this kid?! His big brown eyes, super long eyelashes, and a smile that just makes everything okay in the world!  Side note: I love his smile so much!!

THIS … was the scariest day of my life.  My baby boy was about to endure EIGHT procedures, in EIGHT hours, and while my memory fails me to know the exact terms of each procedure, I can give you the synopsis … Basically, the doctors had to break his hip, rotate it out, put a temporary plate in (which was removed a year later, during another surgery), while it fuses back together, along with lengthening his groin muscle, heel-cord surgery, stunting the growth in his left leg, so his right leg can play catch-up (those tools were called 8 plates, and they too, were also removed, in a separate procedure, once his left leg caught up, about 2 years later) … that’s five … the other three things were minimal.  He was supposed to come out of surgery in a body cast, for 6 weeks.  It was a last-minute decision, by the orthopedic doctor, to NOT cast his body … Because he knew my son, and he knew it would only hinder his recovery … and he was CORRECT!!

Seany7
Sean, about two hours after surgery.

Again … Look at that face … all drugged up, and still has a smile for his mama! GOD, I LOVE THIS KID! So, now that we have gotten through the surgical aspect, now starts the long road to recovery … A full year recovery, and then some.  He had to learn how to walk again.  “It’ll be a good 12 weeks, before he’s ready to start to walk,” Dr. Rieger said, “However, I decided to not body cast him, in hopes that he may walk sooner.”

And that he did!  He walked 6 weeks before he was even supposed to start trying! “YOU ARE FREAKING AMAZING!”, I would tell him time and time again.  “There isn’t anything, YOU CAN’T DO!”, would roll off my tongue, over and over.  We went through a full year of physical therapy, and unless you knew he had CP, you would never know it.  Mission accomplished!

Fast forward to sixth grade … Ahhhhh Middle School!!  Difficult transitions to get used to.  You’re expected to do more for yourself in school, change classes, etc.  When Sean started middle school, we lived in a neighboring town, to where we live now.  After the first marking period, his teachers were all telling me that he needed extra help, or maybe he was a resource kid … a kid who needed help in every aspect of school.

WHAT are you people telling me?!  I have NEVER had a problem with his schooling, except in 4th grade, but that’s when he had his big surgery, and got a little behind.  He was totally fine in 5th grade, when his lowest grade was ONE C, the whole year?! I literally left there in TEARS!! Who the hell wants to hear that their kid is resource material?! NO ONE, but here we were!  Because of his cerebral palsy, he was always being tested, and was always “over testing”.  They could never find any learning disabilities … EVER!

Other circumstances in my life, caused us to move from that town, to the one I live in now, allowing my son to change schools in the middle of 6th grade.  He did okay that year.  Seventh grade, we struggled with some bullying and grades … Of course, I thought it was the bullying that was causing his struggle with academics.  WRONG! In 8th grade, yes EIGHTH grade … it was his Math teacher, who finally “heard” what he was trying to say. Long story, short, it was found that he had a terrible processing speed.  So things that should normally take you a few seconds to answer, would take him a minute or two … or longer … therefore resulting in a documented learning disability.  The poor kid was struggling for years, but didn’t manifest, until he had to do things for himself … such as MIDDLE SCHOOL!!  I felt like the worst parent ever … for pushing him so hard to do better.  His step-father and I really didn’t accept anything, but his best!!  To our credit, every teacher, and counselor has told us that if it weren’t for our “push”, he wouldn’t be where he was at that point.

The very first day of 8th grade, he had broken his “bad” leg, in two places, from a little spill on his dirt bike … Here we go again … Getting behind in school, and MONTHS of physical therapy.  I remember when Erica, his therapist, asked me what my goal was for him … without hesitation, I said, “I would like to see him run … properly.”

It’s the little things in life, that people without any type of disability take for granted.  I had never seen my son run with both arms at his side, pumping back and forth. Instead, the left side worked “properly”, while his right side flailed in the wind.  Although cute, he was about to enter the next four years of his life, in high school …

It’s the little things, that make a huge difference, and the day came …

December 18, 2013 … Drayer Physical Therapy, Sparta, NJ

I saw my son run, like a person without CP, for the first time in his life … LIKE A BOSS!

Tears roll down my face, and I’m reminded, we’ve already come so far.

 

 

 

 

Unconventional ~ Part 2.

I heard the sweetest little “Wahh!” …

April 24, 1999 … 7:15 am … Trying to place an epidural, in a spine, on a body that has gained over twenty pounds of water weight in less than three weeks, is proving to be near impossible.  I was “stuck” in the back about five or six times, before the anesthesiologist said,

“If I can’t get it this time, we’re gonna have to put you under, and do the c-section while you sleep.”

BLOG_Unconventional2
Photo creds: Memegenerator.com

“Ummm … there is a chance that my son won’t live … You WILL get it this time, because I want to see him alive, even if only for a minute!” (Wow! Look at me! Haven’t even met my son, and I’m already a Mama Bear!) With that, the epidural was inserted properly, and within minutes, the doctor who delivered my son, Dr. Yvonne Thornton, entered the room, and said …

“Now, please remember, that his lungs are just now developing. You will probably not hear him cry, when he is born.  This is normal.  We were only able to give you one steroid shot to help his lungs, versus the two shots, that you would normally get.  We are running out of time … for you, but I assure you (in her most sympathetic voice), even though you probably won’t hear him cry, technology has come so far …”

She continued on, but that’s all I really heard …  Technology?! WTF does technology have to do with MY SON, and his premature lungs … Actually, I remember a nurse saying that he was so early, that it wasn’t even considered premature, but rather … immature.  HA! A title he still holds dearly, to this day!!  (I joke … sorta)

April 24, 1999 … 8:54 am … I heard the sweetest little “Wahh!”, that I have ever heard in my entire life!  “It’s a boy … One pound, nine ounces, 12 1/2 inches long, apparently with a better set of lungs, than we anticipated!”

I will never forget that sound.  I have it on lock down in the memory banks of my heart, and my brain … I will never forget his first, tiniest of whimpers, and the thoughts that scattered through my brain …

That’s my boy!
Stronger than even the doctors thought!
A fighter from birth.
Strength you didn’t know you had.
YOU HAVE PURPOSE!
You got this, kiddo!
I will never leave your side … EVER!
THAT, is my promise to you.

 July 30th, 2000 ~ One year “corrected” age ~ When you have a child that is born three months early, you learn a lot of new jargon that you’ve never heard before. You also become super acclimated to the NICU, and you start to believe that you could be a nurse, with all that you have learned.  Especially when your child is there for 12 weeks.  Today’s word is “corrected age”.  He’s 9 months old, 6 months, corrected age. For ONE YEAR, and three months, I had to use this term.  It was frustrating.  Unless you know, you DON’T know.  To the mom who has her babies when they’re supposed to be born, it may sound silly to you, that I complain about this … It seems minimal, in the grand scheme of life, however … it’s ANNOYING … just another way to point out that my kid is different from yours … like I said … ANNOYING, and perhaps, dare I say “judgey”?! The only positive, is that if someone overheard me saying “corrected age”, it brought on the conversation, and I was happy to talk about it.  Knowledge is power, right?!  Getting back to my point … In August of 2000, I had to bring my son for a developmental check up.  I had noticed that he was favoring one side of his body, over the other.  When he crawled, at nine months, he would over use his left side, like an army crawl, but the left side did the majority of the work.  After a three-hour evaluation, the results were in …

“Your son has a condition called Hemiparesis, which affects his right side.”

In layman’s terms please …

“Your son has Cerebral Palsy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Son, my number one.

“We’ve already won”

Do you know what it’s like to be me
Happy, easy-going, loving, carefree
Your vision of my face
You can clearly see
I’m smiling, I’m joyful
I’m bursting with glee
PLEASE … Do not be mistaken
While I smile for you
Inside, my heart is breaking
Broken … shattered, really
Somehow I’ve failed you, my son
Somehow I’ve failed you
My number one
Tell me what it is that
I haven’t done
You see, in my head
We’ve already won
From where you were
To where you are
Do you even realize
You’ve come so far

IMG_6998
Photo circa Mother’s Day 1999

Dig deep, my son
For you will see
That pushing yourself
Will set you free
Can’t is a word
You’ve always been told
To eliminate from your mind
No matter how old
Remember the time
You knew how to walk
Then surgery stole it
We sat, and we talked
“Mommy, oh Mommy
This isn’t fair
Why did God create me
Just to make me wear
Braces on my legs
I’ve been casted too
Procedure after procedure
Please tell me it’s true
I’ll walk again, Mommy
Maybe one day soon
Tell me I can, Mommy
Please sing me a tune”
Sweet melodies
From my heart they would come
Along with my song
I could hear him hum
My sweet young man
You have come so far
I wish you could see
Beyond every scar
That God makes no mistakes
You do have a purpose
For heavens sake
Never give up
My eldest son
Never give up
My number one

IMG_7002
Senior Portrait circa 2017

 

 

Take my arm … 

Instead of hers.

Take my arm.
Instead of hers.
With each poke and prot
She winces, it burns.
TAKE MY ARM!
Instead of hers!
I feel her pain.
Literally.
Can it get worse?
I bow my head,
As a tear falls down.
I say a prayer.
I ask the Lord, why?
Why her?!
What did she do?
To deserve this misery.
To have this placed upon her.
What did she do …
you ask?
She raised two children.
On her own.
For the most part.
We had incredible grandparents.
Whom aided.
A lot.  Continue reading “Take my arm … “

Into The Deep …

Take me deep … Keep falling … Hold me!

**Good Morning Friends … I have submitted this piece to be a part of a bigger audience, next month. Please cross your fingers and toes, that I’m one of the lucky ones to be chosen to be featured with a Guest Submission on The Ink Owl’s Page … I’ve included the link to their page, so you can check them out, and or submit something of your own!**

The prompt, for the submission, from the page, is as follows:

” I would like submissions to contain an essence of fantasy as well as reflect this prompt”:
“Into the deep I plunge.”

I’ve included that, so my poem, makes more sense, as you read it.  Enjoy!  As always, constructive criticism, is more than welcome! ;o)

BLOG_IntoTheDeep1

Into the deep I plunge …
The deepest, darkest place
I can find … in my brain,
Yet … nowhere to be found.

The light, the one that once shone
From within, is beckoning to be heard ….
To be seen … to be loved.

BLOG_IntoTheDeep2

Into the deep I plunge,
Happily Ever After…
One step forward,
Sadly,
Two steps back.
I vowed FOREVER!
Is forever now?

BLOG_IntoTheDeep4

The deeper I plunge,
The further I fall …

… into GRACE?! …

A space forgotten by me,
Forgotten by all!

Shame on them, shame on me!

Take me deep …
Keep falling … Hold Me!
Let Me GO! … Take my hand,
Fall with me …..

BLOG_IntoTheDeep3

Into the deep I go …
Where? What? Why? …

… HOW?! …

How have I fallen…
This deep, without letting go?

Further … Slower … Clinching

TIGHTLY!

Oh … I see now … REJOICING!

You never let go …

BLOG_IntoTheDeep

Into the deep I plunge …
It’s warm … welcoming,
Inviting … I like it here …

Come with me … You’ll love it too.

Hold my hand, don’t let go! For …

Into the deep WE plunge ……….

BLOG_IntoTheDeep5

 

Serendipity.


I wasn’t looking ..
for someone like you;
I wasn’t looking ..
for anyone at all.
You came into my life ..
out of the blue;
And did something I thought ..
no one could do.
Like a vortex tornado ..
you shattered my wall;
A wall raised by me ..
for protection from all.
You are so different ..
I sense your loyalty;
Don’t ever give up ..
for it’s called, Serendipity!